2020-2021 Academic Year

Undergraduate Academic Calendar information header


Amy Thurlow, BPR (Mount Saint Vincent University), MA (Saint Mary’s), PhD (Saint Mary’s), APR, FCPRS, Professor

The Public Relations program is designed to answer the need for university-educated public relations professionals in Canada. Students receive instruction in a variety of liberal arts subjects, communication techniques, public relations theories, practices and management. Graduates are qualified to take up positions in public relations, public affairs and information services in business, government, media, educational and non-profit institutions and consulting firms. Selected courses are available and delivered online.

All students must seek academic advising once admitted to the program. The Department of Communication Studies has a prescribed sequence of courses that must be followed.

Note: Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Public Relations prior to September 2001 should consult with the department regarding the requirements for completion of their program.

Admission Requirements
Please refer to 2.1.4 Admission Requirements and 2.1.6 Additional Admission Requirements. Enrolment in this program is limited and selection is based on suitable academic background and achievement.

Transfer Requirements
Please review Admission Requirements for Transfer Students.

Special Studies
Students may count a maximum of 4.0 units of directed/independent/research studies courses in a 23.0 unit degree, with no more than 2.0 units in any single discipline.

Course Failure
If a student fails a Public Relations course twice, she or he will be dismissed from the Public Relations program.

Program Requirements

The Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) program is designed as a full-time study program. Co-operative education requires a student to be enrolled full-time before and after each co-op term. Full-time enrolment is defined as 1.5 units per semester. A student who commences the program on a part-time basis must be prepared to enrol full-time (1.5 units per semester) the semester prior to her/his first co-op term and must complete the program as a full-time student. Students are expected to maintain a portfolio of work completed during the public relations degree program.

Students must successfully complete 23.0 units with the following requirements:
three compulsory co-op terms
obtain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in 8.0 units of required coursework including all required PBRL courses Note: Co-operative education work term courses (PBRL 1188, 2288 and 3388) cannot be counted in the calculation of the GPA
meet all requirements for the co-operative education program
students may complete a minor consisting of 3.0 units as specified by the department offering the minor. Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required 3.0 units
Required Courses (13.5 units)
BUSI 1112 0.5 unit
COMM 2016 0.5 unit
COMM 2025 0.5 unit
BUSI 2230 0.5 unit
COMM 3017 0.5 unit
COMM 3023 0.5 unit
MATH 2208 0.5 unit
PBRL 1010 0.5 unit
PBRL 1188 1.0 unit
PBRL 2012 0.5 unit
PBRL 2013/COMM 2013 0.5 unit
PBRL 2211/COMM 2211 0.5 unit
PBRL 2288 1.0 unit
PBRL 3012 0.5 unit
PBRL 3013/COMM 3013 0.5 unit
PBRL 3014 0.5 unit
PBRL 3016 0.5 unit
PBRL 3020 0.5 unit
PBRL 3388 1.0 unit
PBRL 4014 0.5 unit
PBRL 4015 0.5 unit
PBRL 4019 0.5 unit
PBRL 4101 0.5 unit
PBRL 4107 0.5 unit
Electives (9.5 units)
0.5 unit of WOMS (Women’s Studies or Women’s Emphasis course) 0.5 unit
0.5 unit of ENGL at the 1000 level or above 0.5 unit
8.5 units of electives
❏ at least 3.0 units of these 8.5 units must be taken at the 3000 level or above
❏ at least 4.0 units of these 8.5 units must be taken from courses within Arts and Sciences
8.5 units

Co-operative EducationMount Saint Vincent University offers a 23.0 unit Bachelor of Public Relations degree with compulsory co-operative education. The Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) degree is accredited by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE).

Co-operative education is a process in which employers and educators co-operate in the education of students by formally integrating the student’s academic program with related work experience. All students must complete three alternate co-op terms off-campus with government agencies, non-profit institutions and corporations. Studies show that co-operative education enhances the student’s academic performance and facilitates the student’s transition to the workplace upon graduation.

The co-operative education component involves a sequencing of normal academic semesters and co-op terms. Students complete the normal academic sequence for their first 10.0 units if entering the Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) degree directly from high school. Students admitted to the Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) degree with sufficient transfer credits complete the normal academic sequence for their first 5.0 units. For the second half of the program, there is an alternation of co-op terms and academic semesters.

The following schedule depicts the typical Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) program:

Year Sept to Dec Jan to Apr May to August
1 Academic Term 1 Academic Term 2 Free
2 Academic Term 3 Academic Term 4 Co-op Term 1
3 Academic Term 5 Co-op Term 2 Academic Term 6
4 Co-op Term 3 Academic Term 7 Academic Term 8

Program Standards
Students entering the program with considerable professional public relations work experience may use the current university regulations regarding Challenge for Credit to challenge PBRL 1188. Once admitted to the program, students considering this option must consult the academic department to determine eligibility.

Before the first co-op work term, students must meet these prerequisites:

  1. a 2.0 CGPA at the end of the academic semester prior to the job search*
  2. normally completion of 10.0 units
  3. successful completion of PBRL 2013, 3012 and COMM 2016, COMM 2025

*Students who do not meet the 2.0 CGPA requirements for co-operative education but have more than 7.5 units of transfer credits, or grades from courses completed more than five years ago, may request an individual review of their transcripts by the department Chair who may approve admission.

Once you have accepted a co-op term, there are three possible grades for co-op terms:

  • P Pass. Student continues academic study.
  • NCR No credit, repeat. Normally, a student may receive only one NCR grade and remain in the degree program.
  • F Fail. A failing grade in a co-op term results in dismissal from the program.

For additional information, refer to the Co-operative Education Program section of the Academic Calendar and the Co-operative Education website.

Professional Concentration in French

Public Relations students have the opportunity to pursue a 3.0 unit concentration in French. Students must fulfill the following requirements:

❏ 3.0 units of French language courses (excluding FREN 1101 and 1102)

Professional Concentration in Spanish

Public Relations students have the opportunity to pursue a 3.0 unit concentration in Spanish. Students must fulfill the following requirements:

❏ SPAN 1101, 1102, 2201, 2202, 3301 and 3302

Students completing SPAN 2202 may write the internationally recognized Spanish examination prepared by the Spanish Ministry of Education and receive the Initial Certificate (Certificado Inicial). Students completing SPAN 3302 may write the Spanish examination prepared by the Spanish Ministry of Education and receive the Basic Diploma (Diploma Basico).